The Blind Side

The duck habitat in south Texas is very diverse. The areas where I waterfowl hunt I have had the opportunity to observe and watch the ducks there for years. This is because the ducks share their winter home here with many sought after game fish. My fishing trips in the flats double as duck scouting ventures as well. The ducks will favor one spot or island one year and pick a totally different spot the next. Scouting always helps make your hunts more successful. South Texas diversity in land leaves the adamant duck hunter with several options. You have the terrains of lakes, ponds, marsh land, and bays. The variety of land allows for many different blind and decoy scenarios. For this reason I do not limit myself to just one type of habitat.
One of my favorite terrains to hunt for ducks is island embankments in the flats. I like hunting islands because you are not stuck in one spot. You can easily move to use the wind in your favor and get where the ducks want to land. On islands you will need to bring chairs and sometimes plywood to set the chairs on because of the thick mud. When picking an islands to hunt on I look for natural cover like over grown brush that I can set up in to conceal me from the oh to good eyes of the ducks. I also check to see if there are oyster beds around. I try to steer clear of the beds if I can. The beds will slice a bird dogs paws up and we almost always hunt with dogs. I had a horrible experience with oysters cutting my chocolate lab Roxie Roo Dog. She ran off after a wounded bird straight into a bed of oysters. Roxie sliced her pads up so bad she had to sit the rest of the season out. It was sad! There are boots you can get for the dogs but I have heard the oysters sometimes cut through those as well. I just try and stay away from the beds or only hunt them when I’m not using a dog.
Duck hunting in blinds is no doubt way more comfortable than sitting in brush on an island. The blinds allow you to sit in a dry spot, out of the water and wind. You don’t have to worry about falling in the mud or getting wet when in a blind. Depending on how elaborate you want to build them you can have very comfortable benches and places to put you bags, etc. Sometimes during the winter in South Texas it gets to windy and rough for a boat ride to the blind and islands. When this is the case ponds are a great choice for hunters. The drive to ponds are usually a lot shorter than the boat rides allowing you extra time in the morning for decoy set up or breakfast. I always try to eat before I hunt but sometimes only have time for a snack.
It is a good idea to have a few different options when putting up blinds and choosing spots to duck hunt. It is to your advantage to have several different locations to fall back on. The north wind from cold fronts sometimes pushes the water out of the flats. This can leave your blind high and dry!  The decoys aren’t going to float on the mud and I don’t think the ducks want to land on oysters, ouch!  So leaving yourself a plan “B” or alternative spot is always good.


Jan 05, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none

 

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